Antique 18th Century Cut Paper Picture Coat of Arms Rare English Armorial Circa 1700s
This example is a RARE 18th century Coat of Arms intricately and expertly cut using stiffened paper and possibly vellum. This particular craft was a craze for a brief period from the 1760's and Nathaniel Bermingham's profession is described in Mortimer's Directory of 1763 as " herald painter and improver of the curious art of cutting out portraits and Coats of Arms in Vellum, with the points of a pen-knife "
Now, we do not think that our example is worked by Nathaniel Bermingham ( see his work in the V&A Museum, London) but it is certainly skilled and exceedingly decorative with its individually cut and applied leaves, petals and motifs. It reflects the style of armorial and armorial book plates that were in vogue at this time.
This glorious example remains on its original blue back plate but it has been later re-framed in this very appropriate gilt shadow box frame. We see a three dimensional depiction of a Coat of Arms. In heraldry terms we see the Arms - an argent on a chevron between three lions rampant three five pointed starts sable: Motto - Tout et Pour La Mieux. Or in layman's terms - a chevron shape with three black five pointed stars upon a shield with three rampant ( standing ) lions. We see a banner underneath with the hand written motto: "Tout et Pour La Mieux" which translates as "Everything is for the best". To the top where normally the Crest such as a Crown, Coronet, Clerical hat is ensigned; we see instead six banded arrows upon a plain Torse or Wreath.
The three dimensional detailing is stunning; the domed shield made from card or possibly vellum with over applied hand cut designs. In particular we adore the floral and foliage designs that surround the shield; they very much remind us of the intricate wood carvings of the Dutch Wood sculptor Grinling Gibbons. Please study our close up images to gauge the full beauty of these flowers!! As you can see we have researched the heraldry for this exceptional item but due to time constraints sadly cannot tie it down to its family/ owner. We leave this fun part to its next owner.
Measuring when framed 10" by 11", the inner framed aperture measures 7.25" by 6 1/8".
Condition - As mentioned this piece has been re- framed. The original raised cut paper upon blue board is in excellent condition, if not a little darkened with age. There is a small square panel between the two upper Lions with black arrows of possible remains of a motif? Above the six arrow crest is a small hole in the original blue covered back board. the blue painted back board is very crazed with age. The modern frame is perfectly tight and secure and free off even the slightest wobble but the corner joins have a slight gap.
We really cannot enthuse enough about this wonderful and very special 18th century example..........
PLEASE NOTE - Due to its dimensions this item will ship to USA, Canada and mainland Europe by expedited courier service. This cost is included in our price but we do not reimburse import duties or import taxes. Customers from other regions please contact us for shipping cost.
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